how to determine what's causing 100% disk usage

  1.    #1

    how to determine what's causing 100% disk usage


    I'm temporarily without my fairly high spec laptop and using a lower spec laptop which is really struggling. I tend to have around 8 apps open and task manager shows disk activity at 100% I don't want to close any more than I have to, but how can I determine which app is causing the most disk activity & therefore the biggest offender?

    Thank you
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    I've just found Resource Monitor which looks like it could hold the answer, if only i knew how to interpret the information.. I'm on the Disk tab in RM, which shows 'Processes with Disk Activity' and 'Disk Activity', please can anyone advise how I might determine which app is the worst disk offender?

    Thank you
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 1,530
    W10 pro x64 and W8.1 x86

    Have you opened 'Task Manager' and looked at what is running?

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    Please post 1 or more screenshots of your task manager with relevant columns organised high to low by clicking on the column tab.
    To post a screenshot please use the Insert Image icon above your post

    If you wish to see more detail, try Process Explorer (free from MS).

    How much RAM does your laptop have? How much is in use?
    Are the paging file settings default?
    How much free space is there on C: ?

    Do you see high disk usage a few minutes after logging in, having launched no addiitonal programs?

    Could it be associated with Windows update? (See your Update History and post a screenshot).
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    Sorry for the delayed response. I was at work and had to attend to other things. I've now taken some screenshots of task manager & resource manager

    1.png & 2.png, were taken a short while ago with about 5 apps open. It was a struggle to even get a screenshot as performance was so low!
    3.png & 4.png were taken after a restart. After startup I momentarily opened chrome and explorer, then closed them (and then took the screenshots). I see now, after giving the PC another 5-10minutes after startup disk activity and performance is OK (but I'm not currently running all the apps I need to!)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Please post 1 or more screenshots of your task manager with relevant columns organised high to low by clicking on the column tab.

    To pos
    t a screenshot please use the Insert Image icon above your post

    The laptop is i5/4gb non ssd (I'm used to i7/16gb on normal laptop).

    Paging file settings are default. It was Win8.1, I upgraded to Win 10 Pro. It's up-to-date. C drive has 140gb free space.

    A screenshot of update history from the start menu doesn't look very useful, just shows Quality updates or a few other options. PC is up-to-date. I haven't used this PC previously, it's low spec, I know I'm asking it to do too much, but if you are able to help me determine what apps are worst offenders, I can continue using it by reducing load. And hopefully I'll get my other laptop back at some point. Thank you for your help
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3.png   4.png  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    Considering your 2nd screenshot, assuming your Disk column is organised high to low, you have a problem with disk transfer rate- it appears to be low yet shown as 100%

    There are various programs running that appear unnecessary.

    Suggest you do a clean boot and compare. You should expect disk usage when idle - a few mins after boot - to be zero unless there's good reason.

    Comparing your 1st and 3rd screenshots, note the max transfer rate is 10x that in the 3rd screenshot.

    It's not doing an update, and not apparently a paging problem.

    From that it appears you have limited disk transfer rate, and the disk activity doesn't settle to near zero.

    There are several threads on the topic of limited transfer rate - here are some:
    Disk usage 100% please help Solved - Page 2 - Windows 10 Forums
    Slow internal hard drive tansfer speeds - Windows 10 Forums
    100% Disk Usage, tried some methods found online. - Windows 10 Forums

    I'd suggest looking through those first, using any ideas there, keep a list of what you try, and post back with that list if you still have problems.

    Please post specs of your PC. See mine for comparison.
    Last edited by dalchina; 1 Week Ago at 08:29.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 1,530
    W10 pro x64 and W8.1 x86

    @dalchina That sounds like you have looked at my PC specs rather than the OP's. I guess my task manager shot (as an example) made it look confusing.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8

    Ok, amended my post. Thanks, no info posted by OP.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9. Posts : 1,091
    Windows 10

    Can't tell much from your screen shots as they have not been sorted with the objectives in mind.

    There is a lot of Page file activity, which indicates lack of RAM for what you are trying to run. This is slow because of a standard type of HDD.

    You say 'Applications' but these can vary a lot in RAM and temporary/page file usage. This can get large depending on the application and file sizes being used.

    I have 8 GB of RAM but see no sign of page file usage at all even with quite a lot of applications and files open. This is with stuff like Word, Excel, couple of different Web Browsers and tabs, or files in first two.
    With only 4 GB you have very little room to manoeuvre with applications.

    There are few very small things you could change with bits of Windows stuff but it would make just about no difference, at least with what shows in your images.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 740
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Internet Security Specialty.

    @robocop -

    I'm just curious...

    Are we talking about an SSD or HDD?
    How much RAM is installed in the system?
    Is the swap file dynamic or fixed?

      My ComputerSystem Spec


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